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Audubon Christmas Bird Count Provides Vital Information for Conservation

 

December 15, 2020

Survival By Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink

The National Audubon Society’s 121st Christmas Bird Count (CBC) commenced as usual on  Monday, December 14th, and will end on Tuesday, January 5th, despite some pandemic-imposed restrictions. As many as 80,000 volunteers, including many GCA club members, will participate in a safe and socially-distanced bird count—a nation-wide community science project that is the largest wildlife census in the world. Volunteers sign up in advance to join a specific count circle, a fifteen mile wide area supervised by a compiler who is responsible for reporting the findings. There are more than 2,600 circles all over North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific islands.  

The data collected is critical for guiding conservation action. CBC data collected over the past twelve decades details the long-term health of bird populations, identifying environmental issues with implications for people as well. Audubon’s groundbreaking 2014 report Birds and Climate Change, updated in 2019 as Survival By Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink, includes the effects of habitat changes, urbanization, sea level rise, and other potential impacts. 
   
As a member of the Philipstown Garden Club said, “The count gives a one-day snapshot of who is where and when. If you don’t find them as expected, you are provoked to find out why. So, we see climate change, we see when migration times are out of whack with food supply, and we learn what we can do as gardeners. Gardeners play a large role in habitat.”

From the time of its founding, the GCA has been an active force in efforts to improve and protect the environment through local projects and national advocacy. The CBC is but one project GCA club members participate in with the Audubon Society. Since 2015, a formal Memorandum of Understanding serves as an umbrella agreement allowing collaboration among GCA clubs and local Audubon organizations on mutual projects.

Read more information about the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

 

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